I took my wedding ring off today Brian. I remember the day you placed it on my finger, I remember looking deep into your eyes and knowing that you meant forever, and sweetheart, so did I. I proudly wore this golden band for 7 years, 11 months and 1 week. I remember you telling me why you picked it out, “it has rubies” you said “because your middle name is Ruby and you love red”. Always so thoughtful. I never wanted to take it off, you were mine and I was yours, forever and always. But now, all that’s left on my ring finger is a line lighter in color that the rest of my hand, a line that reminds of me 7 years, 11 months and 1 week of “I do”. I didn’t cry when I took it off, which I know you would be surprised at that, I do cry a lot. I don’t like this. I know a ring isn’t all a marriage is about, a piece of metal shaped to fit a finger, diamonds and precious stones cut and carefully placed, polished metal, diamonds glittering, proudly hugging my finger for years. I look at this ring and I remember the times it accidentally scratched you and you’d say “love hurts”. Yes, love really hurts now.

I recently saw a picture that said “the amount of pain in grief shows the amount of love that once was”, but I think grief is more painful and cuts deeper. Or maybe I think so because its changed me so much, I feel it in every muscle, every bone, maybe even every cell in my body.

Why isn’t this a bad dream my love? Why can’t I wake up and ask you to hold me close? You always did that for me and I would feel so safe in your strong arms.

I miss you.

But, my love for you isn’t just about about a few pieces of precious metal and stones. It’s about so much more than that. It’s about you trying to teach me to be more open to new things, that sometimes it’s ok to have a lazy day of binging movies and eating ice cream. It’s ok to slow down and enjoy things, I remember you saying that to me the first time we did a 10 mile hike, I was so intent on finishing that I almost missed all the beauty around me. You taught me not to judge others too quickly. You showed me the deep kindness in your heart; like the day we took a homeless man to a fancy restaurant and the waiter sat us in the very back corner. That man became your friend and called you often. You were the kindest person I have ever met, and from what your friends and family told me, you were always a kind heart. But you credited it all to God, you said He was working on you even when you didn’t acknowledge His presence or power.

So now what do I do with all this my dear husband? How do I take all these things you taught and showed me and change the world with it? I guess just like you did, buy a meal for a stranger, give someone a coat when they don’t have one, help someone buy a new tire for their car, help someone get their lights turned on, help children you didn’t know have another meal.

I think I finally understand Proverbs 11:24 “One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.” It doesn’t necessarily mean if you give, you will become monetarily wealthy. In your case it meant, I give because I have the means to and because of that I am rich in happiness.  I wish I could have understood that more when you were alive. I guess its up to me now to keep your legacy going, to simply give freely.

They say a diamond is forever, and so is my love for you.

 

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